Weather Ready Nation – Dealing with Drought

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LUBBOCK, Texas — When people think of drought and dry conditions, they may consider the threat of wildfires, but there are more things to consider on the South Plains.

Drought can impact Lubbock’s supply of water.

Lake Alan Henry, the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority and a well field in Bailey county are the main sources of water that supply Lubbock, according to the city’s website.

Droughts are a normal part of the climate cycle but they can also be among the most costly weather related events when continuing for an extended period of time, according to the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District.

Officials with the HPWD say drought is known for having a “direct” or “indirect” impact on a community.

A “direct” impact of drought would be the dying of crops or its impact on agriculture. An “indirect” impact would be the loss of revenue from farmers in the local economy.

“The vast majority of water use at home tends to be outdoors and so the landscape irrigation component is one area where small changes in behaviors can actually result in an a good bit of savings overall,” said Jason Coleman, a manager with the HPWD.

Coleman said the HPWD helps with outreach, education, and the promotion of water conservation through online resources and presentations.

“The vast majority of water use at home tends to be outdoors and so the landscape irrigation component is one area where small changes in behaviors can actually result in an a good bit of savings overall,” he said.

If you add up the acreage of turf grass across a large community, he said you end up with a substantial amount of water demand.

Conservation tactics like installing rainwater catchment systems can be very resourceful.

HPWD.org has instructions on how to calculate the amount of rainwater your property could capture from a 1-inch of rainfall. This could be appealing to people, as there are tax incentives for taking these steps.

Some larger systems can be used to fill 1500-gallon tanks.

Coleman said staying aware of the practices that may affect groundwater is also important as many places under the city of Lubbock have a shallow depth to groundwater.

“There is likely a greater chance of having some contamination because the transit time and distance is much smaller than it is where you have greater depths to groundwater,” he said.

For more resources, check HPWD’s website.

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